WWF-Malaysia launches the results of the first Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard | WWF Malaysia

WWF-Malaysia launches the results of the first Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard

Posted on 21 September 2017
Palm oil fruit
© WWF-Malaysia / Mazidi Ghani
~ In conjunction with the First Anniversary of the 2016 International Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard ~ 
Kuala Lumpur: While many palm oil buyers are aware of the importance of using sustainable palm oil to the environment, some are still doing little or nothing to help reduce deforestation and other adverse impacts of producing the world’s most popular vegetable oil in some of the most vulnerable tropical habitats around the world.

With this in mind, the Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard (POBS) Malaysia and Singapore 2017 was jointly released by WWF-Malaysia and WWF Singapore, to evaluate which local companies were sourcing and using sustainable palm oil in their supply-chains. The scorecard also aims to encourage companies which have not yet started their journey to sustainability to do so, with guidance from WWF. As with the WWF International Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecards started in 2009, this Scorecard measured how companies perform on basic steps, such as joining the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), committing to and buying sustainable palm oil, and transparency. 

“The scorecard in Malaysia and Singapore is the first of its kind and will be the baseline for Malaysian and Singaporean companies in recording their journey and commitment towards using, sourcing and supplying certified sustainable palm oil,” said Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma, Executive Director / CEO of WWF-Malaysia. 

Malaysia is the second largest palm oil producer with 1,363,518 ha of palm oil plantations certified by RSPO. Dato’ Dr Sharma added, “The demand for sustainably produced palm oil will drive a positive change in Malaysia’s palm oil industry. While the survey only included 20 Malaysian companies, the ease of accessing a ready supply of locally produced certified palm oil should serve as a catalyst towards local champions in this area.” 

WWF-Malaysia’s Sustainable Markets Programme (SMP) has worked closely with companies to change their demand patterns towards sustainably produced goods and promote sustainable consumption. “This change requires a long term commitment and is not limited to large international players. Local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should take up this challenge to positively change their sourcing practices towards certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO). We would certainly be ready to work hand-in-hand with them to initiate this commitment,” he said. 

A total of 47 companies participated in the scorecard, with 27 from Singapore and 20 from Malaysia. The companies, which were required to complete a simple online survey, were selected from sectors known to consume palm oil and are producers of familiar house brands in the region. Survey questions in the POBS follow the requirements for RSPO certified sustainable palm oil.

The results of the scorecard were released in conjunction with the first anniversary of the 2016 International Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard. Denis Asia Pacific, which uses certified sustainable palm oil across all its Ayam Brand food products containing palm oil as an ingredient, emerged as the overall top scorer with a score of 10 over 12 points. They were hailed as one of the companies leading the way in sustainability, and as an example to other companies planning to start the journey. Said Roy Teo, Managing Director of Ayam Brand, “While our total consumption of palm oil is limited, it is possible to make sustainable choices even when manufacturing in smaller volumes. We see this business decision paying off in employee satisfaction, brand value and business opportunities in Europe, US and Australia where sustainable palm oil has become a market entry criteria.” 

For Malaysia, the results revealed that the majority of local companies evaluated have yet to start sourcing sustainable palm oil, with a score of either zero or are non-respondents. From the 30% of companies which responded to the scorecard, two companies disclosed their usage of CSPO in their products. Of the two companies, MAMEE-Double Decker (M) Sdn Bhd was the top scorer, with five over 12 points, and a percentage of 1 to 25% of CSPO usage. This was very encouraging to see as MAMEE, which carries well-known household brands, has a prominent and visible presence in the industry. The close contender was Munchy Food Industries Sdn Bhd, with a score of four over 12 points. 

Compared to the International POBS, non-disclosure and non-responsiveness was higher among the companies selected from Malaysia and Singapore. Out of the 47 companies evaluated, 31 companies were non-respondents. A majority of the companies cited a lack in internal capacity or expertise in sustainable practices, costs and the lack of demand from consumers for them to switch to using CSPO. 

“The world is at a critical stage on the journey to sustainability, especially in palm oil. Although more major brands are now using only CSPO, there are companies which have yet to start. That needs to change. WWF urges companies to visit the Scorecard website and use it as a guide to start their journey to sustainability. For consumers, we all have a role to play in demanding full participation and transparency of all palm oil buyers across the globe in order to halt the threat of deforestation and affect true sector wide transformation,” stated Dato’ Dr Sharma. 

The complete performance profile on each company is shared in the published report, which can be accessed from the POBS website, www.mypobs.com

- Ends -

For more information, please contact

Shajaratuldur Hashim
Communications Manager, Sustainable Markets Programme, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603-7450 3773
Email: shashim@wwf.org.my
Palm oil fruit
© WWF-Malaysia / Mazidi Ghani Enlarge
Palm oil plantation
© WWF-Malaysia / Mazidi Ghani Enlarge
Palm oil plantation
© WWF-Malaysia / Mazidi Ghani Enlarge